Two years have passed since the Eastern Florida panhandle was visited by the devastation known as Hurricane Michael. Damage to life was significant, and damage to property was catastrophic, with some towns literally wiped off the map. The response by Power Crews and First Responders was nothing short of amazing, as power and water services were restored quickly to most customers in Bay County.
I am grateful to the thousands of men and women who willingly left their homes and families throughout our country to render aid, and those who continue to help as the recovery moves forward. I am thankful to President Trump and the employees of FEMA for their rapid response to the needs of our community. Saying thank you seems inadequate, yet I say it with humble gratitude to all who have helped and continue to do so.
I know there are those who believe that God is responsible for the destruction caused by the storm, either because He directly caused it or allowed it to happen. Many sincere religious leaders and others proclaim God’s judgment upon Florida and our country at large. I respect their sincerity, yet it is possible to be sincerely tight, or sincerely wrong. There are many opinions as to why the storm came and what, or who, caused it, but only facts matter. Specifically, the facts in God’s Word, the Bible.
JESUS KNOWS THE NATURE OF GOD
The greatest theologian in history is none other then Jesus of Nazareth. He knows God and His purposes more fully than any man that has ever lived. As both man and God, Jesus is unique in both understanding and declaring the nature of God. No greater authority exists to explain who God is and how he operates than Jesus own words recorded in the Bible.
The Word tells us of Jesus “Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:6-11) Jesus was God, is God, and forever will be God.
Since Jesus is God, what He says is what God says. He said two very important things that relate to Hurricane Michael and all “natural disasters”. First, “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17) Secondly, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”.
Jesus states that God’s purpose is not the ,judgment of men, bur their salvation, and that only the thief comes to kill and destroy. The thief Jesus speaks of cannot be God, for God has no need or desire to steal. He further declares that His purpose, and therefore God the Father’s, is life and more abundant life. Hurricane Michael was in no way a contrivance or plan of God, it was the work of a thief.
The thief is none other than satan. He is the one who comes to destroy. Paul described him as the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience“ (Ephesians 2:2) Jesus said to the religious leaders who accused him “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44) One of satan’s most powerful deceptions is to blame God for hurricanes and other disasters. He destroys, and then blames God. Religion agrees with the devil, but it is all a lie. God is not the murderer and destroyer, satan is. He sent Hurricane Michael, and GOD HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, actively or passively!
BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE
God DOES have a plan for the continued restoration of our community. He showed it to me just as the hurricane passed through on October 10t, 2018. It is found in Isaiah. 58:11-13, and I am fully convinced it is the Word of the Lord for our families, homes, businesses, cities and towns.
It is this: “The Lord will always lead you. He will satisfy your needs in dry lands and give strength to your bones. You will be like a garden that has much water, like a spring that never runs dry. Your people will rebuild the old cities that are now in ruins; you will rebuild their foundations. You will be known for repairing the broken places and for rebuilding the roads and houses. “You must obey God’s law about the Sabbath and not do what pleases yourselves on that holy day. You should call the Sabbath a joyful day and honor it as the Lord’s holy day. You should honor it by not doing whatever you please nor saying whatever you please on that day. (Isaiah 58:11-13)
A miraculous recovery will continue in our community if we put our trust in God and honor Him by putting Him first in all that we do. We must concentrate on doing what He says and trust Him for the resources necessary to accomplish the task ahead. He did not cause the destruction of Michael or any hurricane or tropical storm, but he restores what has been destroyed. For those who have said and continue to say our community will never be the same again, I say this. It will never be the same: IT WILL BE BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE!